Main definitions of lark in English

: lark1lark2

lark1

noun

  • 1A small ground-dwelling songbird with elongated hind claws and a song that is delivered on the wing, typically crested and with brown streaky plumage.

    • ‘The songs of larks over the rustle of a meadow can at last be accepted as music.’
    • ‘In addition to communicating through song, larks will raise the crest of feathers in their head during agonistic and courtship displays.’
    • ‘While I was out in the desert I watched a crested lark hovering about 100 feet off the ground singing its heart out.’
    • ‘The crested larks have turned out to be one of the most common birds both in Kuwait and Iraq.’
    • ‘For example, several lineages typically excluded from the nine-primaried oscines do have nine functional primaries per wing (e.g. larks and wagtails).’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of birds of other families that are similar to the lark, e.g. meadowlark.
      • ‘The researchers believe that an increase in agricultural land, forest plantations and roads has fragmented the arid steppe habitat, preventing the Dupont's lark from sharing songs over greater distances.’
      • ‘Many, in times past, closely observed the movements of the bog lark, a bird you don't see that much nowadays.’
      • ‘Out of sight a bird called, an early arrival, perhaps a horned lark.’
      • ‘And then, when I got there, still without seeing the meadow lark, there was a verdant patch of wild valerian basking in the sun and another corner with another patch of sunlight a little further on.’
      • ‘Horned larks appear to come into the Hamlet to feed on grit and seeds.’
    2. 1.2informal A person who habitually gets up early and feels energetic early in the day.
      Often contrasted with owl

Phrases

  • be up with the lark

    • Get out of bed very early in the morning:

      ‘I wanted to leave early, and was up with the lark’
      • ‘I was up with the lark, too excited at the prospect of seeing my team to sleep.’
      • ‘Pet owners who get up with the lark to walk their dogs in a country park are fuming after penalty notices were slapped on their cars.’
      • ‘The new parents I know got about four hours' sleep a night for a while and they are still up with the lark.’
      • ‘When the children were small I'd be up with the lark; a cooked breakfast was on the table by 7.30 am.’
      • ‘But from now on I'm up with the lark and out muck-spreading or doing whatever's needed to keep the farm ticking over properly.’
      • ‘You'd think, wouldn't you, that after yesterday's attack of the walking dozes I'd have been up with the lark this morning, bright as something that's really, really bright that time of the morning?’

Origin

Old English lāferce, lǣwerce; related to Dutch leeuwerik and German Lerche; of unknown ultimate origin.

Pronunciation:

lark

/lɑːk/

Main definitions of lark in English

: lark1lark2

lark2

noun

informal
  • 1Something done for fun, especially something mischievous or daring; an amusing adventure or escapade:

    ‘I only went along for a lark’
    • ‘More dubious than any of these schoolboy larks is the lengthy section of tragedy-as-farce set in present-day Lithuania.’
    • ‘Hordes of participants are expected to turn up for this fun event, from business teams to school teams, and sporting enthusiasts to those just taking part for a lark.’
    • ‘Otherwise, it's decent for a lark when rented for a one-night spin.’
    • ‘She wasn't particularly bright, granted, but she was unassuming, fun, game for anything, fond of her grub and up for larks.’
    • ‘At the now locked gates he meets twins Isabelle and Theo, who promptly invite him home to meet their parents for a lark.’
    • ‘I'd had my lactate levels tested earlier in the year in Connecticut, going along with friends for a lark.’
    • ‘Does the Australian public believe that these people undertake these treacherous journeys for a lark?’
    • ‘He lived on the sub-continent until the age of five, when his boyish larks led his parents to send him to live with his grandparents in Devon.’
    • ‘Designing the baddies and weapons for the next big game - what a lark.’
    • ‘More to the point, might he have to resign if he blew up two trains for a lark?’
    • ‘The DVD comes in a huge box that's about twice the size of any DVD set you could name (overcompensating perhaps?) and it's got quite a few extras that might even entice prudes to buy it for a lark.’
    • ‘‘We've seduced people into giving us $300 million for a lark,’ he says.’
    • ‘Never fear, we'll all be living until 112 shortly, and it's very likely that half those grey heads we observe are really teenagers who borrowed their grannie's wig for a lark.’
    • ‘In rarefied locations in the city, foreigners ride the rickshaw for a lark.’
    • ‘In the national championships that year, she participated for a lark and won the silver in the rifle prone event.’
    • ‘For those that got in, we drank away until the wee small hours and talked of old times, japes and larks.’
    • ‘Apparently some of the stages will be near by (in Portmore), who knows, maybe I'll go and watch them for a lark.’
    • ‘He soon became a cornucopia of trivia, and one day decided to have a shot at creating his own puzzle, just for a lark.’
    • ‘Their story plays like some merry old folk tale, about a few lads off on a summertime lark that turned into a life-transforming adventure.’
    • ‘Despite common opinion, Hika was not just using the opportunity afforded by his muskets to indulge in predatory larks; he had serious duties to perform for his people.’
    fun, amusement, amusing time, laugh, giggle, joke
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British [usually with modifier] An activity regarded as foolish or a waste of time:
      ‘he's serious about this music lark’
      • ‘Let's have it in live action - none of this animation lark.’
      • ‘Anyone who engages in this utterly ridiculous weblog lark will have experienced those moments where you suddenly get an urge to put your latest words and thoughts online, despite the fact that you've had a few too many drinks.’
      • ‘This beauty lark is bloody hard work and I am profoundly grateful that most of the time I throw on slightly soiled clothes and schlep into the printroom makeupless.’
      • ‘This Dad lark is gonna take way more energy than I have.’
      • ‘What is the appeal of this air guitar lark, I wondered?’
      • ‘That jogging lark hasn't done him much good has it?’
      • ‘Call me dim but I would have thought that there wasn't too much to learning how to master this silence lark; it's not like studying Wittgenstein, even for people who wear trainers.’
      • ‘Well, nobody said this superhero lark was going to be easy…’
      • ‘It all seems so simple from this perspective. I could get used to this evil genius lark.’
      • ‘Hey, maybe I'm getting the hang of this interview lark.’
      • ‘The consensus was that there had to be something in this astrology lark, and what did I know, I'm only an astronomy graduate.’
      • ‘Anyone passing through who wants to leave some remarks in the comments, please feel free. only if it's to tell me what a cack-handed job I'm making of this liveblogging lark.’
      • ‘The trouble with this sobriety lark, which I embarked upon at the start of the year, is that I find my critical facilities have been restored after some 30 years' suspension.’
      • ‘Perhaps he would have had to have asked them, ever so politely, of course, if this was their first offence, or if this terrorism lark was becoming a bit of a habit?’
      • ‘It's basically a working-class mindset, he said: ‘This showbiz lark can't last.’’
      • ‘Just as she was getting the hang of this monarchy lark, along comes another embarrassing chain of events to sink its teeth into the royal posterior.’
      • ‘This captaincy lark is all new to him, after all.’
      • ‘I sometimes think I'm not cut out for this whole technology lark, and today my faith in that belief has swung wildly from one extreme to the other.’
      • ‘I appear to be fairly gainfully self employed in the website design lark, at least for a bit, and while that's great it doesn't exactly make for good weblog fodder.’
      • ‘Monday morning was a tiny bit better, but this whole straightening lark isn't quite as easy as I thought it would be, different products also seem to have different results…’
      activity, undertaking, thing to do
      View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]lark about/around
British
informal
  • Enjoy oneself by behaving in a playful and mischievous way:

    ‘he's always joking and larking about in the office’
    • ‘Snakes, it appeared, were his life whether larking around with tourists, performing rituals in village homes or selling them on to the chaps from Marrakesh.’
    • ‘Why, he asks, send bland ‘wish you were here’ postcards by snail mail when you can e-mail video clips of you and your mates larking around on the beach in just seconds.’
    • ‘I look forward to the time when these kids will be larking around on their breaks with me as I, once again, play the big western idiot.’
    • ‘We were larking around with a bout of on-street wrestling when I noticed a pile of rotten vegetables on a deserted stall.’
    • ‘We strode towards the small plane, with the cameraman encouraging us to lark around.’
    • ‘An office boy larking around in an unlit storage room almost lost his life when ‘grossly overloaded’ shelving collapsed on him.’
    • ‘Police are using new powers to seize motor bikes from noisy youths who disturb residents by larking around or speeding down streets.’
    • ‘At tea-time and again the following morning, we're visited by members of the community, yarning with old ladies like Sheila, Amy and community leader Jessie and larking about in the river with a bevvy of energetic youngsters.’
    • ‘A party of girls aged between nine and 11 had got on the bus; one had thrown her top off while larking around and the bus driver had stopped to let her pick it up.’
    • ‘There was no clear boundary between the serious scientists on the one hand and those on the other who were merely larking about with new technology.’
    • ‘I didn't lark about or anything but failed to treat my duties with the seriousness required.’
    • ‘And the rest of the lads lark about and laugh at a misshapen nude.’
    • ‘She's already larked about in her undies for a camera, and she's also made vague allusions to wanting to dress up provocatively for the series.’
    • ‘No, I didn't want to see the players larking around as though they didn't have a care in the world, but I don't think that's unreasonable.’
    • ‘He was always larking around in the dressing room and getting told off for messing around, so a move into comedy seemed natural enough.’
    • ‘The 39-year-old, from the West End area of Ashton, said: ‘They were just lads larking about which ended with tragic consequences.’’
    • ‘And by the time I was cracking eggs into the pan to go with a pile of toast, he was larking about, making sarcastic remarks about the Queen Mother and her 101st birthday, and it was clear no harm had been done.’
    • ‘They merely hear me larking about for my own fun, not for theirs.’
    • ‘Her male co-host was telling jokes and larking about.’
    • ‘It could have been two lads larking about, but this is not a laugh and a joke.’
    fool about, fool around, play tricks, indulge in horseplay, make mischief, monkey about, monkey around, footle about, footle around, clown about, clown around, have fun, cavort, caper, romp, frolic, skylark
    mess about, mess around, play up, act the goat, act the giddy goat
    muck about, muck around, fanny about, fanny around
    bugger about, bugger around, piss about, piss around, arse about, arse around
    disport oneself
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 19th century: perhaps from dialect lake ‘play’, from Old Norse leika, but compare with skylark in the same sense, which is recorded earlier.

Pronunciation:

lark

/lɑːk/